The saying “health is wealth” is accurate because without health, there isn’t much that a person can do or achieve. Further still, health is delicate due to the fact that sickness is unpredictable and if or when it occurs, the affected people have to spend a lot of time and money to deal with it.
To protect people from high levels of inconvenience due to sickness, N° 48/2015 of 23/11/2015 the Law governing the organisation, functioning and management of health insurance schemes in Rwanda says that health insurance is compulsory for everyone.
What exactly is health insurance? According to article 2 paragraph six of N° 48/2015 of 23/11/2015, health insurance is “a mutual arrangement whereby a person, group or household pays premiums or contributions to a health insurance for the purpose of receiving healthcare services.”
What this basically means is that people or groups of people make contributions to an organisation such a health insurance company so that if or when they fall sick, they won’t have to spend a lot of money on hospital bills.
Article 3 of the Law governing the organisation, functioning and management of health insurance schemes in Rwanda says that health insurance is a must have for everyone, even foreigners who live in Rwanda. If a person decides to move to Rwanda and he/she does not have health insurance, he/she is expected to get it within a period of 30 days.
There are two major types of health insurance; social health insurance and commercial health insurance. This is according to article six of N° 48/2015 of the 23/11/2015 Law governing the organisation, functioning and management of health insurance schemes in Rwanda.
Under each type of health insurance, there are different health insurance options. However, social health insurance that is done in public entities is the most favourable. This is because it is available to a wide range of people, from politicians to retirees. Additionally, it makes provisions for children to be included on their parents’ health insurance scheme.
The children have to be under 21 and unemployed or below 25 years if they are still students. Children who are disabled and can’t be employed are allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance scheme without age limit. This is according to article 9 of N° 48/2015 of the 23/11/2015 Law governing the organisation, functioning and management of health insurance schemes in Rwanda.
However, no matter the kind of health insurance arrangement your parent decides to take, you have a right to health insurance. This is because article 45 of the Law relating to the rights and the protection of the child says, “Every child who is on the Rwandan territory must be affiliated to a medical insurance in accordance with relevant law.”
It is important to remember though, that health insurance does not provide protection from disease or the pain thereof. And most of the diseases occur due to poor lifestyle choices. Therefore, strive to make healthy choices.